Seton Hall hosts celebration of Japanese culture

Ramen Tasting, Kendama Play and a Cosplay Contest can only mean one thing: it is Japan Week at Seton Hall.

Japan Week features a series of events that will showcase Japanese culture, fashion, cinema, cuisine and language, from April 9 to April 13.

This celebration is meant to coincide with the emergence of Japanese Cherry Blossoms. Events include a movie night, virtual tour of Kyoto, a former capital of Japan, and a karaoke night.

Japan Week aims to give students and communities the opportunity to obtain a better understanding of Japanese culture and demonstrate the University’s commitment to building bridges between cultures and bringing together people of different customs, religions and ethnic backgrounds. Japan Week seeks to continue to promote diversity and unity and hopes that participants will become leaders in a flourishing dialogue between Japan and the United States and will work towards building a more peaceful global community.

This year’s Japan Week program was planned and will be hosted by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, chaired by Shigeru Osuka, professor of Asian Studies. Starting preparations in January, Osuka began working with the Japan Week committee and students for ideas and planning.

“We looked at current society and related it to the topic in Japan,” Osuka said. “It is very important to integrate between academic curriculum and cultural events to understand forging society. Therefore, the department is providing an opportunity our students to participate first-hand experiences in different cultural events.”

Though Japan Week has been at Seton Hall for 21 years, each year aims to differ from past celebrations.

This year, history professor Anne Giblin Gedacht organized the event on ramen noodles. Professor Kyoko Takamatsu from the Japanese Program organized the tour of Kyoto, games of Karuta, a traditional card game, and an opportunity for participants to make their own Japanese-style parfait.

Despite these new additions, Japan Week continue to have its popular programs like the Cosplay Contest, Japanese Language and Digital Storytelling Awards Ceremony and the Annual Graduate Student and Scholar-Teacher Symposium on Japanese Studies.

Adeline Fagel, a senior Asian studies major, has had an active role in the planning process.

“As Secretary of the Asian Cultural Association (ACA), I’ve attended E-board meetings to come up with the ACA sponsored events this year, which are the Kendama Play & Experience and Karaoke Night events,” Fagel said. “With the other E-board members, we discussed logistics and our financial budget for the materials, refreshments and prizes.”
Alecia Mobley, a senior broadcasting and visual media major, expressed her interest in this year’s Japan Week.

“I am excited for to the SHU Cosplay Contest. I can’t wait to see everyone’s costumes,” Mobley said. “I really appreciate Japan Week’s efforts to expose SHU students to different aspects of Japanese culture.”

All nine events are open to the public and free of charge.

Schania Anderson can be reached at schania.anderson@student.shu.edu.

Author: Schania Anderson

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